THE AUDIOVISUAL WORLD OF
By Jorge Munnshe
Michel Huygen (founder of Neuronium) and painter Tomás Gilsanz (author of the
images that at times have accompanied the concerts of Neuronium, and the creator
of some of the album covers of the band) have joined their talents to create a spectacular audiovisual CDROM,
"Hypnotika Vol.1", recently released in a restricted distribution and with only a thousand copies, under the name of
Neuronium and released by the label Oniria International. Michel Huygen has told
us about this project during an interview.
beginnings of electronic music and specially space
music, many have been the followers who are convinced about the
additional impact that this kind of musics
has when they are complemented with the adequate images. If a
us a journey through unearthly universes, that sensation will be
enhanced if besides listening to the music we see the landscapes
that such a journey could bring to our eyes. The music videos visually
based upon that kind of images are scarce.
Most just gather live performances with a few surrealist images
intertwined with the
live takes. This is why, when an audiovisual work whose space character
both the music and the image appears, this no doubt attracts the
attention of the
followers of avantgarde art.
"Alienikon" and "Aeternitas" are two movies (lasting about twenty
minutes each), based on this concept. Huygen and Gilsanz respectively
take care of the sound and the image.
animations have been created by Gilsanz from paintings of his
digitalized by himself. All kinds of visual effects scroll one after
another. Landscapes passing before our eyes as if we were overflying
them. Supernatural apparitions. Ghosthly metamorphoses. Wondrous worlds
alien to anything known. And other effects hardly describable with mere
words. Gilsanz knows how to play with psychology linked to visual
perception. He makes, so to speak, us see the invisible, tricks us with
his pictorial magic making us perceive things contrary to the laws of
physics that govern the behavior of light as well as our perception of
The nature of the visual content of these two movies has a strong
mystic component. The supernatural is present in almost all the
sequences. The textures are oniric, as if the animations were the brain
recordings of dreams. There also are remarkable psychedelic touches.
The music created by Huygen that serves as the soundtrack for these two
movies acquires new shades and gathers new additional meanings as it is
listened to while the images are contemplated. On his part, the visual
universe of Gilsanz is enhanced by the great emotional strength of the
music by Huygen, which emphasizes with a
greater dramatic transcendence the different sequences.
The two long videoclips turn out to be ideal to let your mind fly with
complete freedom and disconnect from everyday life for a while,
something that no doubt many people look for in some moment of the day.
Aware of that, Huygen and Gilsanz decided to choose the CDROM as the
support for "Hypnotika" instead of the videotape, so as to make it
easier for the viewer to access this brief evasion from the real world
as one can use, to this end, for instance, the same computer one has
been working with for hours on end, something more likely to be done
during the worktime, rather than having a television and VCR. Another
reason for this choice instead of the videotape was to take as much
advantage as feasible from the possibilities offered by the multimedia
that the CDROM provides, and in some way, support the artistic use of
new audio formats, as for instance MP3. Huygen thought of using the
DVD, a support he already works with, yet in the end he chose the CDROM
due to the fact that at present the amount of CDROM readers is still
quite larger than that of DVD reader units.
The use of the MP3 format has allowed, for example, to store in
Hypnotika" 70 minutes of music without pauses that adds to the one
acting as soundtrack for both movies.
The music contained in one or another way in this CDROM includes
stellar pieces of the entire career of Michel Huygen. Pure electronic
music in its most cosmic face, rising in its full space splendour, with
lively, fresh melodies, brimming with feelings, at times introspective.
once again impresses us with his graphic design for the cover of the
CDROM. An enigmatic figure of icy tones and diffused contours, as if it
were the gas of a nebula, presides the front cover over a black
background. As in other visual creations of his, Huygen transmits some
very definite meanings, yet he also deliberately leaves an open door to
the imagination of the observer. In the first instance, he has
re-created with great subtlety two arms that shake hands around a
beating heart, while at the same time the entire design presents the
aspect of a spaceship. In the second instance, as many things as the
imagination of a person is able to produce can be likewise seen. An
alien face, the head of a magic serpent, the arm of a ghostly old
record player,or a supernatural lamp whose bulb emits spiritual light,
are some of the uncountable interpretations that can stem from this
image. The symbol in question is bound to become an insignia for the
oniric worlds of Michel Huygen since, as he tells us, he is planning to
use it as a logo for future releases.
The work of Michel has extended as well to the programming of the
CDROM. For this project, there has also been the collaboration of Toni
Brunet as executive producer.
This CDROM is for a PC, and requires the following minimal technical
characteristics in the equipment where it is going to be used: Pentium
II 300 Mhz, 64 MB RAM, DirectX 6.0, a CDROM reader (minimum 4X) It is
possible to copy the entire contents from the CDROM to the hard disk to
solve the jumping of images that is caused by slow readers.
An important technical detail of this CDROM is that Huygen decided that
the units were manufactured with a special protection system to prevent
illegal copies. With respect to the controversies that lately are
abounding about the intellectual property of music in internet, the MP3
format, or the trajectory followed by Napster, Huygen defends the good
use of any new technology, as he shows n his inclusion of 70 minutes of
music in the MP3 format within "Hypnotika Vol. 1". Yet he believes that
the pretension to have all music forcibly made to run freely in the web
is absurd, since, as is logical, this would attack musical creativity
while forcing the artists to stop being artists to take care of other
jobs to be able to eat. "I would like to see how those who defend this
gratuity would react if someone intended for them that they earned no
money at all from their jobs from which they earn they living now"
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